Carfax is a Web-based service that supplies vehicle history reports for used cars and light trucks in the U.S. and Canada. Headquartered in Centreville, Va., just south of Dulles Airport, the company maintains a data center in Columbia, Mo., where it was founded 30 years ago. The company also has offices in Toronto and Munich, as well as field representatives across the U.S. and Europe. Two hundred forty of Carfax’s 600 employees work in tech, most of them in Missouri and Virginia.
Vice President of Human Resources Adrienne Webster says the company is looking for talented people to join the team, “especially developers and engineers.” Current open positions include systems and development DBAs, Web and back-end software developers, ETL (Extract, Transform & Load) developers, Salesforce managers and Agile project managers.
“Most of our tech positions operate in an Agile work environment and use Scrum methodologies extensively” Webster says. “Paired programming also is widely used. For developers, Java or other object-oriented languages are critical skills. Database administrators will work primarily with MongoDB, Oracle and MySQL databases.”
How to Interpret Job Postings
First and foremost, Carfax is looking for team-oriented people with open minds, and prefers that candidates apply online. Webster says the company’s recruiters make every effort to keep job descriptions simple and easy to understand so they’ll appeal to the widest range of qualified candidates. While terms like “Agile environment” or “extreme programming (XP)” are clearly noted, Webster emphasizes “team” as the company’s most commonly used—and important—word. “Everything revolves around Team Carfax,” she says. “If you think you’ve got what it takes, just reach out to us.”
The Hiring Process
After a resume’s been reviewed, candidates move on to a phone screen, then an online video interview through HireVue. Once you make it to an on-site interview, be prepared to take a technical test with managers and/or potential colleagues literally looking over your shoulder.
Webster stresses that you’ve got to do your homework before starting the process. “Get to know Carfax. Visit our websites, download our apps. We share a lot of information about our business online, on our various social media pages and on YouTube.”
What Makes a Good Fit?
Carfax places a strong emphasis on transparency for the used-car industry, and it’s a key part of its team-oriented culture, as well. Webster wants candidates to read the corporate playbook, which is easily found on the company’s website. “We practice what we preach and want every candidate to know the type of people and environment they’ll find here at Carfax,” she says. “We’re also big believers in the StrengthsFinder assessment and helping you succeed by playing to those strengths.”
Advice for Seasoned Professionals
Webster advises experienced candidates to, “be proactive and follow up in a timely manner, do your homework and be yourself. Use your past experience to offer real-world examples that support your statements.” She also notes that employee referrals are welcomed and encouraged, so if a potential hire can connect internally, all the better.
Advice for New Graduates
Carfax wants new graduates who are excited about entering the working world and have the ability to translate what they’ve learned in school and life into something that can add value to the company.
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Image: Simon Associates, Inc.